At least 10 patients died after fire broke out at the COVID-19 ICU ward of Ahmednagar district hospital in Maharashtra on Saturday (November 6).
The fire started around 10am in the special COVID ICU ward where 27 patients were undergoing treatment. The exact cause of fire is not known but police said that short circuit seems to be the likely reason. District Collector Rajendra Bhosale said that seven patients suffered severe burns while 20 others were moved to other wards with various degrees of burns. They were provided ventilator and other medical assistance. However, 10 patients were confirmed died till the last reports came in.
Bhosale said the fire brigade was pressed into service which has succeeded in bringing the fire under control.
Vivek Khatik lost his father in the fire. Kadubal Khatik, 65, was undergoing treatment in the special COVID ward for the last 10 days and recovering well. Vivek was outside the hospital when he heard about the fire. He rushed to the ward and was terrified on seeing the commotion. He succeeded in getting his mother out with the help of hospital staff, but his father was still stuck inside. Vivek entered the room on fire despite the high flames and hospital staffers’ insistence that he stays away. However, it was too late by the time Vivek entered and Kadubal Khatik could not be saved.
All the victims were in the 57-83 age group.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray took stock of the situation and ordered a high-level inquiry. He also promised strict action against people responsible for carelessness that caused the tragedy.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted his condolences at the Ahmedanagar hospital tragedy.
Ahmednagar guardian minister Hasan Mushrif visited the hospital. State health minister Rajesh Tope said relatives of the deceased will get Rs 5 lakh compensation.